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Vietnam Lotteries A lottery drawing – the first since 1942 – was held on December 1, 1969, at Selective Service National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. As a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, Arnold R. Isaacs covered both the war in Vietnam and the antiwar protests at home. The lottery of 1969 was conceived to address perceived inequities in the draft system as it existed previously, and to add more military personnel towards the Vietnam War.The war had arisen from a series of conflicts dating back to the early stages of French colonialism and Japanese occupation of Vietnam in World War II.In 1963, South Vietnamese generals seized power in Saigon in a coup. Other Facts 1954 - North Vietnamese begin helping South Vietnamese rebels fight South Vietnamese troops, thus BEGINS the Vietnam conflict. This allows a draft to be activated if needed, as was used during the Vietnam War. TIME During the Korean War, the Selective Service began the policy … A need for more manpower upon America’s deeper involvement in the Vietnam war in 1965, made President Johnson bring in conscription. Drafting more men from the bottom of the socio-economic ladder meant fewer needed to be called from the top steps, so the policy left intact the many escape routes for more privileged young men while penalizing the most disadvantaged. On December 1, 1969, the first draft lottery since 1942 was held, at Selective Service National headquarters in Washington, D.C. 9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the official Vietnam era from August 5, 1964 to May 7, 1975. The capsules were then drawn out and opened, one by one, and assigned sequentially rising numbers. Under rules promoted principally by Defense Secretary Robert McNamara — to the opposition of most military leaders — local draft boards across the country were required to call up scores of thousands of men with IQ scores below the minimum standard. In other words, as Gregory (a Vietnam veteran himself) points out, after drafting clearly unsuitable men, the military sent them back to society permanently stigmatized for being unsuitable for conscription. The Vietnam War began in earnest in 1965 when the U.S. Congress passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, giving President Lyndon B. Johnson the power to use force in Vietnam. The highest lottery number called for this group was 195; all men as… Lower numbers were called first. Signing up for this newsletter means you agree to our data policy, Without Honor: Defeat in Vietnam and Cambodia, Vietnam Shadows: The War, Its Ghosts, and Its Legacy, From Troubled Lands: Listening to Pakistani Americans and Afghan Americans in Post-9/11 America. COPYRIGHT © 2019 WAR ON THE ROCKS. How would YOU have done? It meant being sent to a war and fighting for a cause that many people did not believe in. The people in charge of the Selective Services randomly choose a birth date out of a capsule, 366 capsules for all of the days in a year. Volunteering to be drafted was a get-it-over-with option for men who decided not to wait to be called but chose to be inducted out of turn, without seeking reclassification or some other way to avoid serving. Even then, the law created a public outcry, because many believed that compulsory service was an infringement on personal liberty. However, according to a remembrance on his high school class website, that young man volunteered for the draft, which he quite possibly could have avoided if he’d tried (just ask Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, or Rush Limbaugh). The draft was abolished in 1973. Draft evasion in the Vietnam War was a common practice in Australia and the United States. Draft Lottery results for the Vietnam War in 1969 1969 Draft Lottery during the Vietnam War Vietnam draft lottery focused on 19 year old men December 1, 1969 was the first draft lottery held since 1942, during World War II. 2/3 of the men who served in World War II were drafted. The remaining capsules were drawn by youth delegates who had been selected for that purpose from around the country. Legal authority for a peacetime draft came from the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940, signed by President Franklin Roosevelt in order to mobilize American civilian-soldiers in anticipation of entry into World War II. The military draft brought the war to the American home front. The image of those who fought in Vietnam is one of poorly educated, reluctant draftees -- predominantly poor whites and minorities. Even though the draft was abolished in 1973, men of draft age (between 18-25 years) still have to register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of the 18th birthday so a draft can be readily resumed if needed" (Valentine). Vietnam Draft. If the one drafted casualty on the Harvard list took that route, it means that through the entire war period, not a single Harvard man who died was a typical — that is, involuntary — draftee. Origins. The others were from earlier classes and all, with the exception of two civilians and one who volunteered as an Army chaplain, had entered military service well before the Vietnam buildup began. Overall, an estimated 60% of potentially eligible men escaped the draft in the Vietnam years, mostly by qualifying for exemptions of many different kinds. The country was a part of Imperial China until it … The lotteries of the next three years were apparently fully randomized. Dundalk High School in Maryland, attended largely by steelworkers’ kids and with a male student body a sixth of Harvard’s, lost 23. 2/3 of the men who served in Vietnam were volunteers. The calculator, of course, does not use your birth year because many of us were born well after the Vietnam War. It was officially called the "Conscription Act" and was initiated by the Confederacy. Of the 19 Harvard alumni who were killed, only 11 were in the age group subject to the Vietnam draft. The U.S. held its first draft lottery on Dec. 1, 1969, giving young men a random number tied to their birthdays. USS Enterprise Let's look at the facts, starting with who actually served in Vietnam. Resistance to the military draft during the Vietnam Era resulted in the suspension of selective service in the US after 1972, although young men continued to register for the draft. The name itself shows a non-native understanding of … 1965-1973 Anti-Draft Movement . To many, the draft was a death sentence. Website owned and maintained by Wesley Abney. The military is surprisingly strict about the medical conditions of those … How the Vietnam draft actually worked 1. The table below the lottery numbers, by birth date, for the US Selective Service lotteries held from 1969 to 1972 (during the Vietnam war). How I Got Out of the Vietnam Draft — And Why That Still Matters The Sept. 9, 1974, issue of TIME reports on the amnesty proposal, which was issued on Sept. 16, 1974. The Vietnam War isn’t called that in Vietnam. That was the last time the draft was used in the 20th century Who Has to Register? LIVE VIDEO coverage of the 1969 draft lottery by CBS can also be accessed from the LINKS page. USS Enterprise in 1939. It could have set a higher minimum grade on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test, the basic intelligence test, and still easily met military manpower needs. In 1969 the first draft lottery was held. For CHARTS OF ALL THE LOTTERY DRAWINGS, list of draft classifications, Vietnam troop levels year-by-year, and other information, click on the LINKS tab. Instead it lowered that requirement. Long after the war, in his book In Retrospect and elsewhere, McNamara expressed regret for his role in shaping the U.S. intervention and its military effort in Vietnam. 2,709,918 Americans served in uniform in Vietnam. The Vietnam War was one of the many wars in the 19th century that had a draft, but it was the last war to ever have a draft implemented during that time period. 366 blue plastic capsules contained the birthdays that would be chosen in the first Vietnam draft lottery drawing on December 1, 1969. Do not miss Part I. The remaining variables give the draft lottery numbers assigned to the birthdays: 1. During the Vietnam War era, between 1964 and 1973, the U.S. military drafted 2.2 million American men out of an eligible pool of 27 million. (Note: 18 year olds required to register for the draft were issued “draft cards” and were required by law to carry that document with them at all time. Congressman Alexander Pirnie (R-NY) drew the first capsule, which contained the date September 14. Not only did those under-qualified men take disproportionate casualties in Vietnam, but of those who came home, more than half left military service with less than honorable discharges. Korean Turtle Boats Myth: Most Vietnam veterans were drafted. The Draft in the Vietnam War (U.S. Army photograph, "Search-and-destroy patrol in Phuoc Tuy province") The Vietnam War was fundamentally a political war between communist North Vietnam and capitalist South Vietnam. On January 6, 1966, SNCC issued a statement condemning the Vietnam War, charging that, “the United States government has been deceptive in its claims of concern for the freedom of the Vietnamese people.”Many members of state and national government denounced opposition to the war as being “close to treason.” Although only 25 percent of the military force in the combat zones were draftees, the system of conscription caused many young American men to volunteer for the armed forces in order to have … During those years, the Selective Service used a lottery to determine the order in which draft age men would be called up for duty, usually in Vietnam. [McCaffrey] Many men volunteered for the draft so even some of the draftees were actually volunteers. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. An estimated 70,000 American men fled to Canada to evade the draft or as deserters. The anti-war activists began objecting to the Vietnam War by resisting the draft, which was cemented in the minds of young, American males who were eligible to go to war. Isaacs lives in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Comments/Questions may be directed to Wes Abney, wabney@vietnamwardraftlottery.com. The majority of the 15.4 million draft deferments given out during Vietnam were student deferments. Make up a health condition. Later statistical studies of the supposedly random selection process indicated that the later dates of the year received disproportionately low draft numbers, due possibly to insufficient mixing of the capsules. Thus, all men born on that date, from 1944 through 1950, received the first priority for call to duty. Approximately 850,000 men were affected by the 1969 draft lottery. The draft determined the “order of call” for 1970 for all men of draft age, which included all men born in the years 1944 through 1950. The full story of Project 100,000, as that program was known, is told in an exhaustively researched and deeply disturbing book called McNamara’s Folly, by Hamilton Gregory. There are two statistics that tell a lot about who went to Vietnam and who avoided the war: Harvard College, that symbolic bastion of the American elite, had 19 alumni who died in Vietnam. Conscription during the 1960s took place under the legal authority of the peacetime draft, because the United States never formally declared war on North Vietnam. The first birth date drawn that night, assigned the lowest number, “001,” was September 14. A second lottery was also conducted for the 26 letters of the alphabet, to determine the order of priority (by last name) for each date of birth. On December 1st, 1969, America's first military draft lottery since World War II was held. Significant draft avoidance was taking place even before the U.S. became heavily involved in the Vietnam War. For the lottery, 366 blue plastic capsules, each containing one date of the calendar year, were dumped in a large glass container. It could have set a higher minimum grade on the Armed Forces Qualifying Test, the basic intelligence test, and still easily met military manpower needs. 240 men were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War. Vietnam has been subject to many foreign powers. In 1940 Congress passed the Selective Training and Service Act which created the first peacetime draft and established the Selective Service System as an independent federal agency. When the Unites States entered the Vietnam in 1964, our involvement naturally became a subject of dispute throughout the country. April 30, 1975 - South Vietnam … The last date drawn was June 8, which was assigned draft number 366. [Westmoreland] Approximately 70% of those killed were volunteers. But as far as I can tell, he never apologized, in the book or anywhere else, for Project 100,000 or for draft policies that were applied so unequally to different classes of Americans — policies that were almost certainly one precursor of the social and cultural divides that split our country a half-century later. Wikimedia Commons The first two variables define the birth date: M, the month (from 1 for January to 12 for December) and D, the day of the month. N69gives the results of the lottery held on December 1, 1969, for men born from 1944 through 1950. USS Constitution 2. However, men of draft age are still required to register under the Military Selective Service Act. This loophole was largely closed to working class … The purpose of this site is to collect and share the stories of American men who were subject to the Vietnam war draft lotteries in the years 1969 through 1972. The Harvard casualty list includes just one draftee (one of only two men on the list who were not officers). Instead it lowered that requirement. The stereotypes are wrong. The draft in the United States began with the Civil War in 1863. Editor’s Note: This is the second installment in a short series before the documentary series The Vietnam War (directors Ken Burns and Lynn Novick) premieres this Sunday. In 1940, prior to U.S. entry into World War II, the first peacetime draft in our nation’s history was enacted in response to increased world tension and the system was able to fill wartime manpower needs smoothly and rapidly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The highest draft number called for induction from the 1969 lottery was 195. Home Connections Facts Works Cited Facts. The next lottery, held in 1970, applied only to men born in the year 1951; the lottery of 1971 covered men born in 1952; and the final lottery in 1972 applied to men born in 1953; however, men born in 1953 were not drafted due to abolition of the draft in 1973. Selective Service could have raised standards during the Vietnam War because the draft pool, born in the Baby Boom, was so large. The highest draft number called for induction from the 1969 lottery was 195. Until 1973, American men were drafted to fill the needs of the country’s armed forces that could not be met by volunteers. This event determined the order of call for induction during calendar year 1970; that is, for registrants born between January 1, 1944, and December 31, 1950. For those born in 1950, however, being drafted in 1970 was a very real prospect. Korean Turtle Ships served with the Korean navy for centuries, first coming... 3. The way the draft works is as follows. The next lottery, held in 1970, applied only to men born in the year 1951; the lottery of 1971 covered men born in 1952; and the final lottery in 1972 applied to men born in 1953; however, men born in 1953 were not drafted due to abolition of the draft in 1973. Conscription during the Korean War did not inspire the same angry, passionate protests that the draft during the Vietnam War did. He is the author of Without Honor: Defeat in Vietnam and Cambodia, Vietnam Shadows: The War, Its Ghosts, and Its Legacy, and From Troubled Lands: Listening to Pakistani Americans and Afghan Americans in Post-9/11 America. | Those men came overwhelmingly from poor, low-status backgrounds. This drawing determined the order of induction for men born between January 1, 1944 and December 31, 1950. Selective Service could have raised standards during the Vietnam War because the draft pool, born in the Baby Boom, was so large. 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